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Condo hotels to follow second Brickell project

Susan Stabley

As The Related Group of Florida prepares to break ground on 1,600 units along Brickell Avenue, the company has entered the condo-hotel market.

"We're in the process of doing them. We have two condo-hotels that we are going to start very shortly," Related Group Chairman Jorge Perez said.

Related will have a top-of-the line, established company run the hotel component, but handle the condominium and condominium sales, he said.

Speculation is rife that Perez, whose company celebrates its 25th anniversary next month, has a contract to buy the Sheraton Miami - Biscayne Bay hotel on Brickell. Perez declined to discuss the deal, citing confidentiality agreements.

The Related Group's 633-unit tower, 500 Brickell, will be its second structure along Miami's financial corridor. The Plaza on Brickell, a 1,000-unit condo, is expected to break ground next month and open in March 2007.

Construction for 500 Brickell will start in March, with completion scheduled for August 2007. The new tower will be built with Wi-Fi capability, allowing its residents to have wireless high-speed Internet connections.

"Every unit has Wi-Fi, so no matter where you are, the whole building will be a hot spot," Project Manager John Chappelear said.

Each unit will also have an electronic tablet prototype, he added. Residents can use the custom-made Sony device to access their e-mail, pick out music or make reservations at a local restaurant.

"You will be able to call valet by pushing the tablet and see on the tablet when your car arrives," he said.

Buyers can add remote control lighting, draperies or air conditioning. The tablets will cost about $1 million of the project's $200 million construction price tag.

Unit prices start in the $200,000s, with sales set to begin in December. Cervera Related Services is the exclusive sales agent.

500 Brickell also boasts a private 20-seat movie theater, a pair of swimming pools, a full-service concierge, 24-hour security, a spa and fitness center, and a Michael Wolk-designed interior lobby. The building's ground floor includes 20,000 square feet of retail.

Chappelear said he wants to add a two-story restaurant fronting Brickell Avenue, a dry cleaner and a gourmet food shop.

Demolition for the existing five-story building at 500 Brickell Avenue is expected in February. Among the building's displaced tenants will be Arquitectonica, the architecture firm that designed the new condo.

"They are giving up their home to implement one of their designs," Chappelear said.

E-mail Miami-Dade real estate/international business writer Susan Stabley at [email protected]

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